Four energy quadrants are discussed: high positive (performance zone) is confidence and happiness; low positive (renewal zone) is chill and relaxing; high negative (survival zone) is anxious, frustrated, and irritable; and low negative (burnout zone). Ideally, you should be pulsing between performance and renewal, but sometimes your emotions send you into the survival zone. You have to intentionally manage your energy to bring yourself back to the renewal zone.
- The next dimension of energy is emotional energy. Emotional energy refers very simply to how you feel. Because how you feel profoundly effects how you perform and how you show up in the world. We spent a lot of years working with professional athletes and what we discovered was that when we asked them the question, how do you feel when you're performing at your best, they consistently gave us the same answers. They used adjectives like confident, excited, happy, calm, focused, in the zone.
Well, that was fascinating because now we know that the way you need to feel to perform at your best is high positive energy. And of course the problem is, there are many times during our days at work and in our lives where we're not feeling high positive energy. So when you're not feeling that way, how are you feeling and what are the consequences? Well, it turns out that there are four different ways that people feel across the course of a day or a week and only one of them serves high performance optimal.
So the most common move when you're not in the performance zone is into something we call the survival zone. So if this is high positive energy, the survival zone is high negative energy. We also can refer to this as fight or flight, because this is what happens when you feel you're under some sort of threat, there's a danger, there's something happening in the environment that makes you feel at risk. It might be some interaction you've had with your supervisor. It could be a conflict with a colleague.
It could be that you've suddenly had a deadline imposed on you that's going to force you to miss your weekend plans. There are dozens of ways in which we can be triggered and land in the survival zone. We never choose the survival zone, it's something we reactively end up in in order to deal with a threat. It's energy depleting. So if you're in this high negative energy and you are trying to deal with a threat, one of the things that's going to happen is the equivalent of what happens when you drive a gas guzzling car.
You're going to burn down that reservoir of energy very, very quickly and you're eventually going to land in this lower zone, which we call the burnout zone. And the burnout zone, not surprisingly, low energy, and what energy there is, is negative, is the worst place from which to perform. So what I've identified now are three different zones, the performance zone, where we know we want to be as often as possible when we're working to achieve a particular goal, and then two negative zones that people move into when the experience is one of threat.
So what's the solution to this problem in our incredibly demanding lives? Demanding physically, demanding emotionally, demanding mentally. The solution is unexpected. It's this lower right, we call it low positive, this lower right zone, or the renewal zone. And the big idea here is moving between intense periods of expenditure of energy in the performance zone and then intermittent periods of renewal in the lower right zone.
So if we're deliberately moving between the performance zone and the renewal zone, we're less likely to move reactively into the survival zone, because we're not depleting ourselves and because when a problem arises, our instinct is to refuel ourselves to take care of ourselves instead of to aggressively act to deal with that problem or to run from that problem. Most of us come to work assuming that we should check our emotions at the door and that when people ask us during the day, how are you doing or how're your feeling?, the answer ought to be, I'm good, I'm fine.
But the reality is that even when we're not aware of it, emotions are circulating through us all day long and we all know them, however well acquainted we are with them or not. And those emotions, if you have any doubt that you have emotions, just think about this question. Who are you at your best? What are the adjectives that describe who you are at your best and who are you at your worst? What are the adjectives that describe you at your worst? And you will find that you can write down, particularly at your worst, but you can write down a very good, long list of those pretty easily.
And that's going to tell you right there the difference between the emotions that serve you well and the emotions that serve you poorly.
In this course, thought leader Tony Schwartz shares his tested and unique framework for fueling productivity through energy management. He explains how to tap into your potential by regularly renewing your four core energy needs: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. By learning how to more skillfully manage each dimension of energy, you can bolster your own productivity, and enhance your success as a manager by tapping into the true potential of your employees.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Learning about energy management
- Managing your physical energy to improve work performance
- Avoiding the survival zone emotionally
- Taking more control of your attention
- Finding a balance between taking care of others and taking care of yourself